Yiddish 101

A perfect introduction to the Yiddish language.
See also “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi” by Wierd Al.
Yiddish with Dick and Jane

I’ve seen that already, but it really is hilarious. They get everything smack dab right on. 8D Jewish people really do talk like that, especially in New York.
Some of the other words they didn’t define (didn’t get all of them)
Shiksa - non-Jewish lady
Goyim - non-Jews
Alter kocker - old coot
shpilkes - pins and needles (or “on tenterhooks”)
tuchis - butt (or “ass”, hence the picture).

Heh, pretty funny and well-made. Plus, it increased my repertoire of multicultural references. Thanks, Jo and Cid. :cool:

Ironically, one of my favorite comedians is Mel Brooks, but I saw most of his movies in Spanish, and thus missed seeing him use Yiddish terms. Oy Vey! :hahaha;

Lol, this is funny, although I’ve already known some of the expressions, and others seemed pretty familiar since Yiddish is closely related to German. But nonetheless, funny. :stuck_out_tongue:

Much funneh. :hahaha:

My linguistics book lists Yiddish loanwords into English. They include some of those mentioned by this flash, as well as some others. I knew a few of the more common ones (lox, bagel, phooey, chutzpah, klutz), whereas some others I never heard of beforehand: kibitzer, schlemiel, schmaltz, schnozzle (nose?), schmo, shnook, shtick, kvetch, mavin, nebbish, nosh, schlock, schmear, yenta (Jewish matchmaker?), and zoftig.

What about putz?
Jo, this was just beautiful. Now i know what Billy Crystal is talking about.
I laughed so hard, my tuches hurts.

Kibbitzer: Rubbernecker.
Schlemiel: Hapless fellow. Also there’s “schlemazel”, meaning luckless fellow.
Schmaltz: Corniness.
Schnozzle: Nose.
Schmoe: Kind of similar to schlemiel but generally in a more specific case (e.g. “Irv’s always screwing up, what a schlemiel”, or “Sarah lost ten bucks on the horse races, what a shmoe”)
Schnook: I don’t actually know that one.
Shtick: Gimmick. Also used to mean “show” or “trick”. E.g. “Ben pulled his shtick on us and managed to run off again.”
Kvetch: Complain.
Maven: Expert.
Nebbish: Sad or pathetic. Noun: “Neb”.
Nosh: Snack (either verb or noun). Also used to mean “junk food”.
Schlock: Very hard to explain… Kind of like schmaltz, but with less “old-folks” connotations.
Schmear: Spread (verb or noun).
Yenta: Blabbermouth. Sometimes used to mean “matchmaker” because the matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof” was called Yenta.
Zaftig: Pudgy (especially around the stomach).

Wow, I didn’t realize how many Yiddish loan words English has! I’ve seen many of those used in comic books.

Here’s some more Jewish Comic Book Trivia, for those who might be curious:

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of SUPERMAN, were both Jewish. This caused some people to wonder if Superman was supposed to be of the Jewish faith, but that has never been proven.

Jack Kirby, co-creator of most of Marvel’s greatest superheroes, was Jewish, and Ben Grimm (The Thing, of the Fantastic Four) is known to be Jewish too.

Kitty Pryde, of the X-Men, is possibly the best-known Jew at Marvel, as many stories were written showing her culture/faith (including her holding Dracula at bay with a Jewish Holy Symbol).

The Marvel Universe’s Israel also has its own Super Heroine, a Mossad superagent called Sabra.

There are also plenty of other Jewish characters at Marvel, you just don’t realize it because most of them just don’t make a big deal out of it.

And none of them LOOK Jewish.:hahaha;

(DON’T KILL ME! That’s an old Mel Brooks joke!!)

This is why Zep will want to be me in 10 years when I’m a pediatric gynecologist.

I heard, (probally from Kraken) that Superman is suposed to be a retelling of the Golem legend. The Golem being a clay, man shapped, figure; that, when life is breathed into it (or I’ve also heard that it had the hebrew word for life or truth written on it, that when a letter is removed spells death or sleep, probally death - think Castlevania: Lamant of Innocence) the Golem will become a force of protection from all the nasties that wanted to do them harm. :victoly:

I never heard that Superman had anything to do with the Golem. Although his creators were Jewish, I don’t think they were particularly observant nor had any real connection to their faith.

The word often said to be put on the Golem’s forehead is either the name of God or “emet”, “truth”. When one letter of that word is erased, it spells “met”, or “dead”.

Cid: This article discusses Hebrew Heroes, and mentions the Golem-Superman connection.
http://www.hillel.org/Hillel/NewHille.nsf/0/8B1F3DA368A5F36685256F3A0062A64C?OpenDocument

Please understand I don’t necessarily agree with what they say, though it IS true that many major Comics Industry greats were Jewish. But claiming a Jewish influence on their major characters is probably incorrect. (I’d forgotten that Magneto is Jewish, too, btw. Slaps forehead!)

I do remember a Superman story (written in the 90s, and not by Js & Js) in which he’s accidentally transported in time to WWII Warsaw and was believed by the locals to be a Golem sent to help them. As you might expect, he was sent back in time before he could help much.

It mentions Stan Lee having the Golem as an inspiration for the Hulk, but it sounds like their Superman/Golem connection is quite tenuous. For one thing, the Golem never spoke and had no personality… can’t really compare that to the S-man. :sunglasses:

I should also mention that, back in the “Silver Age” of the Superman comics (you know, back when Lois Lane was always trying to prove that Clark was Superman, thinking that would force him to marry her, and other such silliness) Samson appeared in some of the stories, such as when Jimmy Olsen got lost in time and became Sansom’s sidekick, or another one where Hercules competed with him to see who was the stronger/better hero.

(Samson and Hercules also met in an old movie (possibly Italian, though I’m sure it was released in English.) I have no idea if the two characters are even supposed to be contemporaries, however.)

I don’t think so. In any case, Hercules is mythological and Samson is Biblical.
I don’t think Samson’s showing up had anything to do with Judaism. Samson and Hercules are just the two mythological “strongmen”. It’d make sense they’d show up in a Superman comic. :sunglasses: